Springfield Armor lose fifth straight but late pick-ups help development

USA TODAY Sports

The Armor lost again Friday night and in typical fashion, playing poor defense in the backcourt and letting a close game get out of hand. It's their fifth straight defeat. The final score was Texas Legends, 115, Springfield Armor 110. How bad was the Armor defense? Justin Dentmon had a season-high 42 points. The Armor, the D-League's defending Eastern Conference champs, play their last game Saturday, also vs. Texas, the Mavericks affiliate.

Despite their 18-31 record, the Armor and by extension the Nets did better, development-wise, this year than last. Trading for Kris Joseph, picking Dominique Jones off waivers and drafting, then developing Willie Reed gave the Armor three legitimate NBA prospects. Edwin Ubiles, also picked up late, could be a fourth.

A number of them could wind up on the Nets summer league team or in training camp. Reed is being heavily scouted as NBA teams look for cheap, risk-free pick-ups. Teams can sign a player up to the last game of the season and retain his NBA rights for next season. Seven teams still have roster spots available. Not every move worked out. Ben Uzoh, the ex-Net, has been a disappointment. The Armor traded the rights to Tim Ohlbrecht, the German seven-footer now with the Rockets, for Uzoh on D-League draft night.

In addition, the Nets are high on Chris Carrawell, the Armor assistant coach, and Bob MacKinnon, the Armor head coach, has long been seen as among the D-League's best at both x's and o's as well as development.

In Friday's match-up, Jones had 18 points, Ubiles 15 and another possible summer league candidate, shooting guard Justin Johnson, had 16. Dennis Horner led the Armor with 24 and 12. Reed had a lackluster 8 and 4, but had 3 blocked shots.

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